Faith calls us into something of which we may never see the fullness in our lifetimes. As we remember those who have shaped our faith, we witness the beauty of "seeing and welcoming" the promises of God, even "from a distance."
Witnessing how those who have gone before us have lived by faith can help us understand what faith is in our own lives; "faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
: Evangelical - The word "Evangelical" in the USA has become associated with a certain brand of politicized American Christianity. How do we who seek to respond to the "Good News" of Jesus deal with that "baggage?" What can we (re)claim about the importance of receiving and sharing the "glad tidings" of the way of Christ when "evangelical" seems to be such a weighty word?
Why We Can’t Talk about Jesus without Talking about Salvation
Salvation/Saved - While in popular Christian language “being saved” has often referred to “accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior,” Biblical language of “salvation” and “saving” also refers to being kept safe, rescue, healing, restoration, deliverance, being set free, and more. It is both personal and communal. Spiritual salvation, rooted in the generous grace of God, contains paradox and partnership. It is a present reality and a future promise.
Sin - Language of “sin” can carry connotations of condemnation or lists of “don’ts.” In Scripture, we see sin represented in personal and collective terms, by actions and failure to act, and as something from which we can find freedom in Jesus. How does Biblical language of sin as “missing the mark” or “losing the way” affect how we think about the concepts of “sin” and “sinner?
The language of faith can come with “baggage” for many of us—associations or history, good or bad, that affect how we think and feel about specific "churchy words" and the beliefs they represent. As we consider these words, we can work to sort out that "baggage," practicing letting go of what weighs us down and claiming what we really need to carry on our journey with Jesus.